The no. 1 A400M comes to France for the continuation of its flight test programme

The no. 1 A400M comes to France for the continuation of its flight test programme

Airbus Military's A400M has arrived at Toulouse-Blagnac airport, where this new-generation airlifter will continue its flight test activities.

9 March 2010 Headline news

Airbus Military's A400M has arrived at Toulouse-Blagnac airport, where this new-generation airlifter will continue its flight test activities.

Airbus Military's first A400M arrived today in Toulouse, France, where the multi-role airlifter will continue its flight test programme.

Touching down at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport following an evaluation flight performed in the Seville region of Spain, the aircraft was welcomed by Airbus Military head Domingo Urena-Raso.

This new-generation transport is built by Airbus Military in Seville, where the aircraft made its first takeoff on 11 December and has since logged more than 40 hours of flight test activity.

In testing performed to date, the no. 1 aircraft has flown at the A400M's maximum operating speed of 300 kt. (555 km./hr.), achieved the maximum Mach number of M0.72, and reached an altitude of more than 30,000 ft. It has operated extensively in both the direct and normal control laws of its fly-by-wire flight control system.

The first A400M is equipped with heavy test instrumentation, as is the no. 2 aircraft - which was handed over to Airbus Military's flight test department at Seville on 6 March, and is due to fly in the coming weeks.

A third A400M is undergoing final production ground tests before engine installation, with its maiden takeoff planned for mid-year from Seville. Sections for a fourth aircraft are arriving in Seville for final assembly, enabling it to join the flight test programme in the second half of this year.

Five aircraft will be used in the A400M's flight test and certification programme, logging a planned 3,700 flight hours before the start-up of deliveries in late 2012. Trials with three of these aircraft will be performed from Toulouse, while the two others will be operated from Seville - providing greater flexibility and taking advantage of the best weather conditions where available.

The A400M is designed to meet the 21st century airlift needs of the world's armed forces. Its use of advanced technologies enables the aircraft to perform both tactical and strategic/logistic missions, combining high speed and long-range flight capabilities with the ability to deliver payloads to short, soft and rough airfields. The A400M's large cargo hold is specifically designed to carry outsized equipment needed for both military and humanitarian disaster relief missions, and the airlifter can bring this material quickly and directly to where it is needed most.

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